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August 20, 2005

GeForce 7800GTX

I recently took advantage of eVGA's Step-Up program and traded in my 6800GT for the more-powerful 7800GTX. The card arrived yesterday afternoon. eVGA is the only video card manufacturer that allows users to trade in their video cards for higher-end models (within 90 days of purchase). The process was quick and straightforward. All-in-all, I was without a card for about a week. You can bet that I'll be purchasing eVGA-branded video cards in the future!

The 7800GTX itself is extremely impressive. Although my previous card was no slouch, this new one is ridiculously fast. It's more than 60% faster than the 6800GT in 3DMark05 - 7,886 3DMarks vs. 4,792. More importantly, I'm able to kick up the resolution in games to 1600x1200 and beyond without incident. Below is a chart that shows frames per second in Battlefield 2 at three resolutions: 1280x960, 1600x1200 and 1920x1440. All of these measurements were taken with FRAPS 2.5.5 with all details on high.

I actually play BF2 at the 1600x1200 resolution, with 8xS AA enabled, instead of the 4x AA shown above (the max BF2 internal setting). I thought about utilizing the 7800GTX's transparency anti-aliasing, but the performance overhead wasn't worth it to me. Also, I finally have a video card that will play Everquest II at the High Detail setting (even though I'm not playing the game nearly as much as I used to). The game really looks nice with all the bloom effects enabled.

Now that my gaming system is fully decked out, I should be set for PC hardware for the near term - but I'm sure I'll find an excuse to upgrade something else!